About social security for seafarers

In Belgium, persons employed as crew aboard sea ships are subject to the special social security regime for seafarers in merchant shipping. The regime does not apply to sea fisheries or crews of sea ships of the federal and regional authorities.

The social security regime for seafarers has its own rules about social security contributions, unemployment, pensions, illness and disability insurance and work accidents.

The social security regime for seafarers is managed by the management committee of seafarers within the National Social Security Office (NSSO). This management committee is composed of representatives of shipping companies and seafarers and is supervised by the federal ministers for Social Affairs and Employment.

  • The NSSO receives, checks and collects social security contributions, manages the Pool List and is in charge of granting unemployment benefits.
  • The Agency for Health and Disability Insurance (HZIV/CAAMI) is in charge of the compulsory illness and disability insurance for seafarers.
  • Fedris is the work accident insurer for crews aboard sea ships.
  • The Federal Pensions Service is responsible for granting and paying retirement and survivors' pensions.